President Saakashvili said on October 1, that the EU-funded fact-finding mission into the causes of the August war “said even more truth than I could ever imagine.”
“It is a great diplomatic victory of Georgia,” he said in live televised remarks at an outdoor meeting with the Tbilisi municipality officials and local residents of one of the capital city’s neighborhoods.
Below are extracts from Saakashvili’s remarks:
“You know that the European Union set up a commission – it was not the EU commission, it was a separate commission - which should have probed into the reasons of the last year war. I want to say that this commission has been set up at our insistent demand, but I did not have many illusions about it, because I understand that all European countries need Russia, they need gas, they need contracts and sale of the cars - nobody would like to have a headache for small Georgia. But I know one thing – despite it, the Europeans cannot close their eyes on the truth.
So, this commission was set up. And what particular results did we receive? Do you remember what Russia was saying last year? They were saying that Russia entered into Georgia because Georgia attacked [Russian] peacekeepers; Russia said it had citizens there [in South Ossetia]; Russia said Georgia killed 2,000 Ossetian children and women and therefore, it had a legitimate reason to enter into Georgia.
Yesterday, the [EU-funded] commission, whom Russia pinned great hopes on, said that there is not a single fact that Georgia attacked Russian peacekeepers – this is a lie number one.
A lie number two – ‘we had citizens there’; the commission said that they had no citizens there; they were citizens of Georgia [in South Ossetia].
A lie number three – ‘Georgia carried out genocide against Ossetians’. I announce with full responsibility and now it is already documented; I could not have spelt at night if it were otherwise – during the heroic resistance of our guys last year not a single child and woman has been killed in the places, which were not controlled by us and where our troops entered – we have never made it secret that of course, we carried out an operation there. Unfortunately, children and women have been killed in the areas where Georgian positions were shelled.
So, this most devilish lie, which Russia said [reference to genocide allegations], appeared to be a farce too.
Lies are short-lived and it has been confirmed by a reliable international commission yesterday.
But this commission has a second aspect, which is more important than revealing of the Russian lies; everybody knows well that historically it was very seldom when the Russian state was telling the truth.
For the first time in the history of international relations, an authoritative international commission said that a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a permanent member of G8, the largest state of the world committed military crimes and carried out ethnic cleansing. This is the first case in the history of international relations.
When in 1921 Russia attacked us and occupied us no international commission was set up then. When they imposed a civil war on us in 1992 and 1993 here no international commission was set up. When acts of sabotage were carried out in 2004, no international commission was set up. We achieved, first of all, setting up an international commission even on their conditions, as they composed the commission with the experts, which were acceptable for them, who had already blamed Georgia in advance. We closed eyes on it and agreed because we believed that they were Europeans and they would not lie.
They said even more truth than I could ever imagine. It is a great diplomatic victory of Georgia.
Some may say what is a conclusion – they say that Georgia did not observe everything and violated something. But it does not matter, because these are conclusions - this commission should have ascertained the facts, which would have been written in history.
Hundreds of thousands of our citizens were expelled from Abkhazia in 1992, and the European Union or more serious organizations have never said that it was ethnic cleansing. Now it is written [in the report] that there was ethnic cleansing.
We had no illusion that Europe - which is preparing for a cold winter and which needs Russian gas – would have said that ‘yes Russia carried out ethnic cleansing, it committed war crimes and Vladimir Putin is to be blamed for it’ – what would have happened in that case? Would they have arrested Putin when he had arrived in Brussels? I think that nobody had such illusion.”